More than 200 college campuses shut down last year in the face of the health situation, and students had to choose between staying on campus during the lockdown or continuing their studies online in the safety of their homes. These students — cut off from socialization and needing to keep their grades up — faced mental health challenges and other unforeseen conundrums. A sort of blessing came in the form of package deliveries and updates in the shipping industry. So what are the biggest shifts in deliveries for college students?
Robot Deliveries On Campuses
The University of California, Los Angeles, Arizona State University, and James Madison University have turned to robots to help students get food deliveries and stay safe. The six-wheeled autonomous robots are able to carry about 20 pounds of food and go through different types of terrain to reach students stuck in their dorms on campuses. The robots, developed by Starship Technologies, are received well, as they are able to swiftly deliver goods while keeping contact to a minimum. With the project’s success, other campuses are looking to apply the robots for in-campus document deliveries as well.
Slower And Late Mail Deliveries
Since the start of the health situation, the United States Postal Service or USPS has been lagging in its deliveries. In some instances and some places like South Chicago, there have been failures to deliver mail for five weeks, as reported by CBS Chicago. This delay in deliveries has affected students looking to receive packages from their families, places of employment, and even colleges they might be in correspondence with. USPS has now announced a 10-year plan that includes longer delivery times and fewer post offices. With this, it would not be surprising if students and their families were to choose priority shipping moving forward, as it will ensure that their packages reach their recipients within one to three days. More students are also exploring different courier services to compare, looking for services which are more affordable and have no delays in delivery.
The Rise Of Care Packages
College students stuck on campuses have reported feeling lonely, unmotivated and frustrated, according to Michigan Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. In response to this, various alumni associations and parents of students have teamed up to send care packages for students who are either in isolation on campuses, or who are recovering from their battle with the health situation. More brands are also coming up with pre-made care packages for students that can be ordered and shipped immediately. Students themselves can order care packages online and have them shipped through USPS or other couriers with faster delivery times. It is clear that ecommerce has become a significant part of how students send and receive packages.
The past year has definitely been a challenging one for both students and the shipping industry. With no clear end to the health situation in sight, adjustments have been needed. Right now, robotics, priority shipping, and backlogs are the biggest shifts seen when it comes to deliveries for students. It will certainly be interesting to see what other developments will crop up in the coming months to meet the shipping needs of students as a whole.